John Slattery
Birth Date:
Birth Place:
Boston, Massachusetts
Famous for:
His portrayal of Roger Sterling on “Mad Men” (AMC, 2007-?)
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Mad Men


“I'm not drawn to political roles per se, but people see you in one way and that's the way they want to cast you. I'd like to do something different, actually. I'd like to take a break from wearing a suit and tie. It isn't who I am. I'd like to do dark comedy, someone a little more emotionally available and less pulled together.” John Slattery

Emmy nominated American actor John Slattery received his Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Roger Sterling on “Mad Men” (AMC, 2007-current). He also won a SAG Award. Remarking about working on the show, he said, “It's the best job I've ever had! Every time I read a script, (Roger) always has something to say that I can't wait to do.”

Entering television in the late 1980s with a regular role on the short lived “Dirty Dozen: The Series,” the Boston native had to experience other failed shows, including “Under Cover” and “Homefront,” before receiving recurring roles on high profile shows like “Will and Grace” (1999, as Sam Truman), “Sex and the City” (2000, as Bill Kelley) and Ed” (2001-2002, as Dennis Martino), from which he netted a Prism nomination. Slattery was also seen on the canceled series “K Street” (2003) and “Jack & Bobby” (2004-2005), before again enjoying recognition on “Desperate Housewives” (2007). As Victor Lang, a recurring role he played from March to December 2007, he jointly picked up a Screen Actors Guild nomination. He gained further recognition and fame with “Mad Men.”

Making his film debut in 1996's “City Hall,” Slattery is known for his solid supporting performances in such film projects as Barry Levinson's “Sleepers” (1996), Steven Soderbergh's “Traffic” (2000), Joel Schumacher's “Bad Company” (2002), Thomas McCarthy’s “The Station Agent” (2003), Mike Newell’s “Mona Lisa Smile” (2003), Guy Ferland's “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights,” Clint Eastwood’s “Flags of Our Fathers” (2006) and Mike Nichols' “Charlie Wilson's War” (2007). A respected stage performer during the 1990s, Slattery acted in the Broadway plays “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” (1993), “Betrayal” (2000) and “The Rabbit Hole” (2006).

Slattery and his actress wife, Talia Balsam, have one child.

Boston Native

Childhood and Family:

John M. Slattery Jr. was born on August 13, 1962, in Boston, Massachusetts. He grew up outside of Boston in Newton and Wellesley. Part of a large family, John has four older sisters and one younger brother. He graduated from Catholic University of America in Washington with a BFA Degree in theater and drama in 1984. He began to pursue an acting career in the late 1980s.

Engaged in April 1998, John married actress Talia Balsam (born on March 5, 1959) on December 30 of that year, five years after her separation from her former husband, actor George Clooney. She is the daughter of actors Joyce Van Patten and the deceased Martin Balsam. John and his wife have one child.

John enjoys surfing and is a fan of Boston sport teams such as the New England Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins.

Desperate Housewives


John Slattery made his professional acting debut in 1988 when he landed a regular role on the short lived television series “Dirty Dozen: The Series,” a gig which required him to travel to Yugoslavia. Upon returning to the U.S., he appeared on stage opposite Nathan Lane in Terrence McNally's off-Broadway drama “The Lisbon Traviata” (1989). The same year, he also appeared as a guest star in the Emmy nominated crime series “Father Dowling Mysteries,” which starred Tom Bosley.

1991 saw Slattery return to series TV as a regular on “Under Cover,” but the ABC show was quickly axed. He had better luck with the World War II era drama “Homefront,” in which he portrayed Al Kahn. He stayed with the show during its two-season run from 1991 to 1993. Among his costars in the series were Harry O'Reilly, Sammi Davis, Tammy Lauren, Kyle Chandler and Ken Jenkins.

Slattery also appeared in Richard Greenberg's play “The Extra Man” (1991) and debuted on Broadway two years later with Neil Simon’s heralded semi-autobiographical “Laughter on the 23rd Floor.” Slattery would continue his collaboration with playwright Richard Greenberg in other off-Broadway productions such as “Night and Her Stars” (1995) and “Three Days of Rain” (1997).

Slattery resurfaced on the small screen in the NBC miniseries “A Woman of Independent Means” (1995), in which he was featured as Dwight. He then appeared in episodes of “Ned and Stacey” (1995), “Hallmark Hall of Fame” (1996, opposite Mary Stuart Masterson), “Feds” (1997) and “Becker” (1998). He also played Jay Mott in two episodes of the Fox Network drama series “Party of Five” and Senator Walter Mondale in the HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon” (both 1998). Slattery then offered a fine portrayal of zany, sexy veterinarian Richard Meyers on the Ann Cusack-led comedy series “Maggie” (Lifetime, 1998-1999), but it was his unforgettable two episodic role of Sam Truman, Will's alienated brother, on NBC's “Will & Grace” (1999) that really exposed the actor to more viewers.

The gangling, good looking performer began his film career in 1996 with “City Hall,” a thriller directed by Harold Becker and starring big names like Al Pacino, John Cusack, Bridget Fonda, Danny Aiello and Martin Landau. In the movie, he played Detective George. More film work followed throughout the 1990s and he appeared in Chuck Russell's “Eraser” (1996, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Caan and Vanessa Williams), the indie drama “Red Meat” (1997, starred Lara Flynn Boyle), Jemes Brolin's “My Brother's War” (1997), “The Naked Man” (1998, opposite Michael Rapaport, Rachael Leigh Cook and Michael Jeter) and Daniel Pyne's “Where's Marlowe” (1998, with Miguel Ferrer, John Livingston and Mos Def). Another noteworthy film he acted in was the Barry Levinson directed “Sleepers” (1996). Starring popular actors like Kevin Bacon, Billy Crudup, Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman, the excellent thriller was nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Music, Original Dramatic Score.

In the new millennium, Slattery’s popularity grew among television audiences thanks to his recurring roles in hit shows like CBS' “Judging Amy” (3 episodes, 1999-2000), HBO's “Sex and the City” (2 episodes, 2000), and NBC's cult favorite “Ed” (17 episodes, 2001-2002), where he delivered an arctic performance as the self assured, reserved high school principal Dennis Martino. For his acting job, he was nominated for a 2003 Prism Award in the category of Best Performance in a Comedy Series.

Slattery also received notice for his portrayal of a steelworker who falls in love with a movie actress (played by Sela Ward) in the made-for-TV movie “Catch a Falling Star” (CBS, 2000). Also that year, he revisited Broadway in a play called “Betrayal,” alongside Juliette Binoche and Liev Schreiber. In 2002, Slattery was outstanding as Annabeth Gish's husband, Jay Follet, in the television film “A Death in the Family” (2002).

The talented thespian returned to feature films as Dan Collier in Steven Soderbergh's “Traffic” (2000), which starred Benicio Del Toro, Jacob Vargas and Michael Douglas, and with a role in Joel Schumacher's “Bad Company” (2002, with Anthony Hopkins, Chris Rock, Peter Stormare and Gabriel Macht). He was then seen in Thomas McCarthy’s “The Station Agent” (2003, starred Peter Dinklage) and Mike Newell’s “Mona Lisa Smile” (2003, opposite Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ginnifer Goodwin and Dominic West).

Slattery was reunited with “Traffic” director Steven Soderbergh in the television series “K Street.” Debuting on HBO on September 14, 2003, the series was praised by critics but canceled after 10 episodes. John next portrayed Peter Benedict, a college president, on the highly publicized, but short lived, series “Jack and Bobby” (the WB, 2004-2005). Slattery was also reunited with Sela Ward in Guy Ferland's “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights,” was cast as Detective Rutherford in the festival screened “Noise,” and portrayed the father of Brooke Ellison (played by Lacey Chabert) in the television film biopic “The Brooke Ellison Story” (all 2004).

In 2006, Slattery could be seen as Colonel Carrick in the Philip Haas-directed movie “The Situation” and Bud Gerber, a government promoter, in Clint Eastwood’s “Flags of Our Fathers,” which was helmed by Clint Eastwood and starred Ryan Phillippe and Jesse Bradford. He also memorably played a grief stricken dad in the Broadway production of “The Rabbit Hole.” However, it was not until he landed a recurring role on the mega hit series “Desperate Housewives” that Slattery was put back on the radar of TV viewers. He played Victor Lang in 14 episodes from March to December 2007 and shared a 2008 Screen Actors Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for his acting job.

While on “Desperate Housewives,” in July 2007, Slattery began his role as Roger Sterling on the AMC drama series “Mad Men.” As a hard drinking, chain smoking advertising executive, he took home a 2008 Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. He was also nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television at the 2008 Satellite Awards. Premiering on July 19, 2007, the series is set to start its third season in the summer 2009.

“I was nervous at the prospect of getting up and having to say anything in front of a group of people. Not really nervous, though. It's a pleasant surprise.” John Slattery (on his first Emmy nomination)

Slattery also continued his film career by playing supporting roles in “Underdog” (2007), starring Jason Lee, Terry George's “Reservation Road” (2007), as Steve Cutter, and Mike Nichols' “Charlie Wilson's War” (2007), opposite Tom Hanks, Amy Adams, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman.


  • Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, “Mad Men,” 2009

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